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ID: 86544
Country: Brazil
Title: Brazil - Rural Microenterprise Promotion Programme (FO4LA) - November 2023
Description: Francisca Eliane de Lima, 50 years old, also known as “Neneide” in her community, is farmer and manages the Cooperxique Cooperative headquarters located in Mossoro Rio Grande do Norte state, northeast of Brazil.

The Cooperxique Cooperative has improved its activities since they started participating in the Farmers' Organizations for Latin America (FO4LA) project, implemented by IFAD with the financial support of the European Union. Thanks to this guidance, now they have an official brand for their agroecological products to access new markets.

For family farming of producers in Mossoro, climate change has had a strong impact, due to irregular rainfall that has changed even planting and harvesting periods. In the midst of climate changes and challenges, Cooperxique guides its members to preserve nature for their own benefit. Adapting more ecologically natural management practices in planting and fertilizing and especially not producing food using pesticides is key.

For Neneide, the social aspect of agroecology is also very important, as she focuses on rural people and protecting their rights: “It’s not just about poison-free products, there must be no violence against women in them, there must be no child labor.”

Her motivation to keep leading the Cooperxique Cooperative comes from not thinking about oneself but about the community. "We put people's lives first and then what we can gain financially, respecting the environment, people and nature”, Neneide says.

Under Neneide's management, Cooperxique created agroecological fairs in small municipalities in Rio Grande do Norte and built a marketing network, and she took very seriously the need to move forward in steps. First, they controlled the food production chain, then they gained customers and after that they decided to expand its business by having women and youth participants. “We started our business as a solidarity marketing space and in 2004 it became a network, the Xique Xique network, because we wanted customers not only to buy the products on the main cities but also in small municipalities”.

The partnership with IFAD came at a critical moment for the Cooperxique, because they were going through changes in public food production policies and then the pandemic started. After a critical moment Cooperxique liaised with Unicafes Nacional, who finances development and technical assistance projects. Then, COPROFAM’s entry brought investment and aimed to unite the farmers network.

FO4LA is a project that has been implemented in Latin America for the first time to increase income and to improve livelihood, food and nutrition security and safety of family farmers, who are affiliated to targeted Farmers Organizations within the region. With financial support of the European Union, IFAD acts as technical and administrative managing entity. A key programme partner in this region is the Confederacion de Organizaciones de Productores Familiares del Mercosur (COPROFAM), which managed its own sub-programme within the FO4LA umbrella.

FO4LA has been implemented in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, together with 15 agricultural organizations participating in chains such as coffee, quinoa, cocoa and sugar cane, among others.
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Show more details: Ueslei Marcelino
Copyright: ©IFAD/Ueslei Marcelino
Categories: New from Latin America and the Caribbean  
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